We kicked off our summer meetings with a focus on story writing! On 7-11 we went to Oz Park on Armitage and Halsted, set up blankets, and did some “imagination exercises.” Some of the exercises asked students to write about their lives; for example, “name 15 things you see outside of your house.” Or: “think of a song that brings back strong memories. What song is it? What kinds of feelings do you associate with the song?” Then, some of the exercises asked students to make up stories, or little scenarios. One example is: “Through the laundromat window, I see….” The point of doing the exercises was to get students’ creative muscles working and give them inspiration for writing their own stories (real or imagined).
On 7-18 we continued with the exercises and talked about possible stories. Marcus will be writing about his “block.” Eboni will write about a song that triggers a memory of a past boyfriend. Victoria is also writing about a song. LaFaye is writing a fiction story from a young girl’s perspective that describes the girl searching for her mother, who is never around. TT is writing about a song that brings back strong memories of her uncle who passed away. We talked about different elements of story writing such as what draws the reader in and how to be descriptive. I tried to help the students narrow down their story ideas—to write about a moment, or an event, rather than trying to capture too much in one story. They got some words on paper, which was great! They will be working on their stories on their own time and next week, we’ll look at first drafts and work on revising!